To celebrate Halloween, Flyers head equipment manager Derek Settlemyre pulled a prank on the team’s players with a “special Gatorade cooler with special ingredients.” Inside the cooler, which he says was passed around the NFL, NBA and NHL, there’s a rubber snake instead of Gatorade.
I was a three-sport athlete in high school and played a Division I college sport, so I am not new to the concept of “team bonding.”
Athletic teams having the most success are usually the teams with talent, yes, but also ones that rely heavily on synergy — weaving together a team of individuals into the one, collective winning force. But where and when hazing rituals became part of such team building is unclear. And the recent allegations of such rituals at Central Bucks West High in Doylestown have tainted that institution’s proud football program forever.
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Although the Eagles lost a frustrating game to the Cardinals on Sunday, Jeremy Maclin had his best game of the season: He caught 12 passes for 185 yards and a pair of touchdowns. And he had the best comic relief in the game as well. During a punt return, Maclin was pushed out of bounds and right over a table filled with Gatorade! He then crashed into another table, knocking that aside and splatting face-first onto the ground.
References to the Almighty God. Mentions of Jesus Christ. Bible verse citations. Heads up about heading into practice. Vague references to “grinding” and/or “putting in work.” Thanking Uber for the ride. The Twitter lives of many Philadelphia professional athletes can be pretty banal.
But that doesn’t mean all of them are social media dullards. Here, in no particular order, are the 10 Philly jocks who make it a point to bring their best game on Twitter — follow-worthy, all of them.
Here is the definitive report on Nick Foles:
He doesn’t dazzle you in any aspect of the game. Sometimes he looks really good shooting the ball down the field to open crossing receivers. And sometimes he has peculiar moments of uncertainty, heaving balls to the middle of the field off his back foot. Those are the moments that allow fans to drift into negative land with thoughts that Foles may not the quarterback who will lead this franchise to future riches.
But know this: Foles will be the franchise quarterback going forward — because the Eagles really don’t have any other choice.
Tuesday night during Game 1 of the World Series, Chevrolet debuted a commercial featuring Philadelphia’s Mo’ne Davis, star of the Little League World Series and all-around general cool person who seems to be handling this burst of fame incredibly well. It’s heavy on Philly, including shots of Anderson Yards, Lazaros Pizza (I go there sometimes!) and the skyline. Oh, yeah, and it’s directed by Spike Lee.
I guess when Spike Lee was here to film a documentary on Davis, what he really meant was a commercial. It’s a shame this isn’t a spot for Nike; then we could’ve had a spot with Mo’ne Davis and Mars Blackmon.
The Eagles are off this week, but the entire team gathered Monday at the team’s practice facility to take a team photo. That day, Chip Kelly says his team ran a photo session that was more up-tempo than their offense.
“We set a record: four minutes and forty seconds,” Kelly said. “We got everybody — the entire team, every position group, the coaches and the training staff done in four minutes and forty seconds,” said Kelly. “Oh, it was tempo. And I would challenge anybody [to match that].”
Kelly later added: “We had to coach the photographers a little bit because… one of the guys thought he was Ansel Adams. We said ‘Let’s get this thing taken and let’s go,’ you know what I mean? It’s not like it’s going to be hanging in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”
Oh, but it is.
We all have things we want to do when the job is over and after this week, I have decided that I’m going to create a chain of rehabilitation centers for Twitter addicts.
In 2014, you can get hooked on Twitter more easily than crack. Crack at least requires money that you have to get from somewhere. Twitter is free and can be used by anyone — from the boardroom executive to the 14-year-old boy postulating from his mother’s basement. Twitter can be informational and enlightening. And it can also be very dangerous — a phenomenon that gives everyone the power to publish any thought, without endorsement or accountability. It’s where Average Joe can be judge, jury and hangman on any particular subject. And it’s a power we plunge deeply into our veins like the worst addict in a dark and seedy alley.
When it’s all said and done, I’m going to do my part with these rehab centers. I know a lot about this topic because I have been both a Twitter player and a victim.
In the third quarter of Sunday night’s Eagles-Giants game, right after the Giants’ Victor Cruz dropped a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone, I tweeted: “Hey Giants fans, Victor Cruz is over. Dance to that.” It was s spur-of-the moment tweet, which all of us in sports talk radio do from time to time. It was intended both to pander to the Eagle fan base for which I do my daily show, and to take a shot at the Giants, who occasionally infiltrate our area with their own brand of braggadocio. And on the surface, it seemed like a heartless thing to write, especially when Cruz subsequently collapsed with a ripped-up leg.
What got lost in the shuffle is that I never saw the player get hurt.
Many people, especially angry Giants fans, have asked how that is possible. Well, here is the story, letter by letter:
The Eagles’ 27-0 demolition of the New York Giants Sunday night wasn’t just the Eagles’ first blowout victory of the season. It was a blowout victory on national television. Football fans across the country were forced to see the Eagles’ impressive win, even if they hate the Birds! (Right, as if NFL fans would have turned off a game of football. Eh, maybe when it got later into the game.)
NBC’s studio set for the game was appropriately Philadelphia-themed. The only problem: NBC completely butchered Philadelphia’s geography. Yes, the backdrop is supposed to be a stylized version of Philadelphia. It’s still hilarious. Let’s count the ways:
The NHL is hiring former Philadelphia Flyer Chris Pronger for a job in its Player Safety Department, ESPN reports. Pronger will be one of those who decide the appropriate punishment for illegal hits.
But there’s an issue: Pronger is still being paid by the Flyers. Pronger last played in 2011, his career cut shot from concussion-like symptoms. He’s not ever going to play again, but he’s still under contract.
Pronger’s contract, which he signed in 2007, pays him until 2017. So each year he’s quietly shuffled onto long-term injured reserve at the start of the season. It’s beneficial for both the Flyers and for Pronger. If he were to officially retire, Pronger wouldn’t be entitled to collect his salary. Also, per NHL rules the Flyers would be stuck with a cap hit of several million in “dead” money; by putting him on long-term IR, he doesn’t count against the salary cap.
And people are upset about his new role in the NHL.